From left, chairman of the bench Chris Holmes, previous Isle of Wight High Sheriff Mary Case, Judge Peter Ralls, Lord Lieutenant Maj Gen Martin White, new High Sheriff Claire Locke, the Rev Kevin Arkell and Under Sheriff John Matthews.
MODERN businesswoman Claire Locke questioned the ancient role of High Sheriff — briefly — before coming to the conclusion it was highly relevant to 21st century life.
Mrs Locke became the Isle of Wight’s new High Sheriff at Carisbrooke Castle, where, in medieval times, the Constable of Carisbrooke Castle would have carried out the duties of the high sheriff and coroner, at times maintaining a garrison there.
After paying tribute to outgoing High Sheriff Mary Case "for her tireless work for the Island community", Mrs Locke, from Newbridge, said: "Let me pose a provocative question. In the 21st century, what’s the point of being a high sheriff? "
She said the holder of the now ceremonial position originally maintained law and order and the role was now widely interpreted as promoting good citizenship.
The founder of Island-based Artigiano, the most successful catalogue and e-business in the UK, has chosen job-creating enterprise and business as her main theme for her year of office.
Her second objective is to revitalise the 15-year-old charity fundraising High Sheriff’s Trust.